Acclaimed mask “imagineers” re-imagined a holiday classic for a show touring to Surrey on Saturday, Dec. 11.
“A Wonderheads Christmas Carol” hits Surrey Arts Centre’s Main Stage that evening, promising physical theatre, masks, puppets and music.
Think Pixar meets Jim Henson in this whimsical production, recommended for viewers aged seven and older.
“A Wonderheads Christmas Carol” features 20 masks and puppets, including a 10-foot-tall Ghost of Christmas Present, all designed by company co-founding artistic directors Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix.
Braidwood embraces the ‘live-action Pixar’ comparison often used to describe the work of the Victoria-based theatre company.
“It’s a real compliment because, like Pixar, we strive to create enchanting shows that hit home with all ages,” Braidwood said.
“Our take on Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’” Phoenix added, “is a heartfelt examination of greed and compassion that includes glowing ghosts, joyful giants, and the sweetest Tiny Tim you’ve ever seen. We’re aiming to make each audience member laugh, cry and gasp with wonder.”
Featured in the show are performers Joylyn Secunda (as Ebenezer Scrooge), Pedro M. Siqueira (Bob Cratchit, Ghost of Christmas Present, Fezziwig), Jessica Hickman (Marley, Fred, Belle, Ghost of Christmas Future) and Sarah Robertson (Mrs. Cratchit, The Ghost of Christmas Past, Mrs. Fezziwig).
“Our ensemble is breathing hard by the end of the 70-minute show,” Phoenix noted. “In one moment, a performer is playing Bob Cratchit, in the next, running backstage to put on a huge backpack puppet, and the next, spinning set pieces through in the air in a cyclone of time travel.”
The show also features an original score composed by Los Angeles-based band, The Singer and the Songwriter, along with some holiday-favourite cover songs.
The Wonderheads’ regional December tour includes dates at Chilliwack Cultural Centre (Dec. 9), New Westminster’s Massey Theatre (Dec. 10), Surrey Arts Centre (Dec. 11) New Westminster, Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay (Dec. 14), Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse (Dec. 18), Nanaimo’s Port Theatre (Dec. 20) and Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in Duncan (Dec. 21).
For the Surrey date, tickets are priced $26 for those under 18, or $39 for adults. A limited number of seats are available online at tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566.
As with all public shows at Surrey Arts Centre right now, patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination and government ID to enter the theatre. Masks must be worn by patrons born in 2016 or earlier (age 5+), regardless of vaccination status.